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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Lord Desai

Lord Meghnad Desai is a member of the House of Lords since 1991 and was made Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics in September 2003. He resolutely opposes the new law against the incitement of religious hatred.

He gave his support to our work which resulted in the House of Lords adopting an amendment paving the way for caste discrimination to be made illegal. He also gave his voice to our successful campaign against the blasphemy laws.

When Hindu extremists forced an art exhibition in London to be cancelled, Lord Desai wrote to the Guardian:

What we are witnessing is the import into the UK of a group which under the guise of Hindu human rights is practising censorship for which there is no sanction in Hindu religion. It is the duty of all citizens to stop this evil before it spreads too far into our body politic. In my view the objection to Husain is not the so-called obscenity of his paintings. It is because he is a Muslim and hence the desire of some Hindu groups to deny his artistic freedom to take Hindu gods and goddesses as his theme.